My hands were trembling on the steering wheel as I sat in the parking lot. I had already made a decision I’d been pondering for months and dangit, it was the right decision. Still, my size 11 feet stayed glued to the dusty floor mats of my silver Honda Accord and refused to budge.
I didn’t want to go in. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. We’d had so many good times together. So many pictures, games, laughs.
“This is crazy,” I thought. You have literally lost your mind. After a few moments I thought – and I am so proud of you. Finally, I took in a deep breath and bolted out of the car onto the hot pavement. I walked into the Verizon Wireless store and officially said goodbye to my smartphone.
“Why are you going back to a regular phone?” The concerned phone specialist asked me like I had cancer or something.
“Because I want to.” I finally said. Suddenly he looked like he was trying to solve a calculus problem.
As many of you know, I went on an incredible mission trip to Haiti in June. As with all of my missions, the hardest part is never the weather or the illnesses, the poverty or the cultural boundaries. The hardest part it is always the struggle of returning home. You can’t spend time in the poorest country in the western hemisphere and not look at America in a different way.
There I sat on the roof of the M house in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, staring out at the millions of little lights making up this densely populated island. Surrounded by twelve incredible high school students sitting in plastic patio chairs, one of the other leaders asked, “What is one thing that surprised you about coming to Haiti?”
One student’s voice cracked against the backdrop of traffic noise and dogs barking, “I really don’t miss Facebook.”
I completely agreed.
If you’ve sat amongst a group of teenagers lately, you know that getting any of them to make eye contact with a human and not a glowing white screen is a TALL order. The truth is, this isn’t just true of teenagers, it’s our new way of life in every restaurant, every store, in every line. When I got back from Haiti I knew one thing for sure: I don’t want that for my life.
I want to look people in the eyes and be completely with them. I want to spend my free time reading books, writing books, and noticing the people God has placed before me. I am as guilty as anyone of combing through Facebook 18 times a day for no reason.
Since Haiti, I’ve rationalized the need for a smart phone in every way. I need it for Navigation. What if I miss an email or a Facebook message. I need it to DJ. Finally, I looked at the money aspect.
Contract Savings: $50 a month.
Phone Insurance Savings: $9.99
$60 a month I could be saving? That’s $720 a year to not be addicted to a phone! I immediately decided I wanted to use that extra money for good so I pledged $34 a month to sponsor my friend Haitian friend Kiki.
Immaculouith Jean Baptiste cannot walk or talk. Ki Ki lost both parents in the 2010 earthquake. He is the constant “smiler” at the M House.
Kiki brought more joy to my life in 10 days than almost anyone I’ve ever met. He is an unbelievable light in this world and I would suffer greatly so He can have a beautiful place to live and thrive. Luckily, I only have to face a slight inconvenience.
Three days into this new way of life, I am having nothing but pure joy! Every time I fight the urge to check my phone, I say a quick prayer.
Thank you, God for this beautiful day. God, bless Kiki today. Be with Him and give him strength.
As I slouched over the gray customer service desk drowning in a sea of bright smart phones, the clerk was still so confused about my decision.
“It’s like your going back to the dark ages, man. Like when a phone was just a phone.”
“You’re right… it’s so awesome!” I smiled back.
This is for you Kiki, I thought and picked up my flip phone. Love ya buddy.
To sponsor your own child or to partner with a number of their incredible projects around the world visit Beyond Our Door, http://beyondourdoorglobal.org/mephibosheth.php or contact my friend, Steve Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to read about how you can sponsor your own child in Haiti with Special Needs. I would love to share more with you about each of the kids!
The song “Look On Up” can be found in my music playlist, “Recklessly Alive.”
Check out all my Music Playlists Here.
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